Learn about your state’s requirements and how the system works. In addition, be sure your employees know what workers’ compensation covers. This information should be included in the employee handbook, conveyed during orientation, posted on bulletin boards, and communicated periodically in safety reviews.
Also, encourage your employees to report all work-related injuries and illnesses immediately. This helps the process move along more smoothly.
The rules and benefits associated with workers’ compensation vary by state. Some states require all businesses to carry this insurance, while others allow only specific industries or employers of a certain size to have coverage. Additionally, each state determines how much workers receive when injured on the job. These benefits generally include a percentage of an employee’s average wage. Some states also provide additional benefits such as disability payments and death benefits.
Injuries caused in the workplace are unpredictable. They can occur quickly, leading to potentially fatal physical traumas and drawn-out medical procedures with protracted recuperation times. This means a victim may miss significant work, resulting in lost wages.
When a person loses their earnings through injury, it can be challenging to cover necessary expenses. This is particularly true if the damage is such that it will restrict their ability to generate money in the future. An experienced lawyer can help a client pursue monetary compensation for these losses, including past and future lost wages.
In addition to paychecks, a workers’ compensation claim can address other factors contributing to lost income, such as vacation or sick days used up, use of a company car and membership privileges, and other perks. Documentation such as medical records and receipts will be required to prove these costs.
A key component of workers compensation in Hawaii is medical treatment. This can include hospitalization, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. Some states may also cover psychological counseling and retraining to help an injured worker return to work.
The type of treatment and duration of the recovery period depends on the specific injury or illness. The workers’ comp system typically provides initial tests to assess the injury or illness. Afterward, the employee chooses a doctor to treat the condition. Some insurers allow employees to choose their doctor, while others have “designated” physicians they use based on various factors.
Many employers buy workers’ comp insurance through private or state-certified compensation funds. Larger companies can self-insure workers’ comp coverage by meeting rigorous eligibility standards.
It is typically considered work-related if an injury happens on the job site or when someone acts in the course and scope of their employment. An accident that occurs while commuting to and from work is usually not covered under workers’ compensation. Although the workers’ compensation system aims to assist an injured worker in getting better and returning to work, it is frequently abused. This can involve false reporting, exaggeration of the severity of an injury, or even fabricating a claim.
The insurance coverage may provide death benefits if an employee passes away due to an illness or accident sustained on the job. These payments help family members cover funeral expenses and some of the deceased’s lost wages.
Workers’ compensation policies vary in coverage, but the most common include weekly cash benefits (functioning as a form of disability insurance), reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses, and death benefits. Most states allow large, financially stable companies to self-insure their workers’ compensation exposure by meeting rigorous qualification standards.
Generally, people can only claim compensation for injuries or illnesses directly resulting from their job duties. This includes injuries sustained on the job, as well as occupational diseases that develop over time, such as cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. The employer is not liable for the injury unless a worker violated a company safety rule or acted with gross negligence.
Employers that provide workers’ compensation must report the frequency of workplace accidents to their insurer and inform employees about how the program works. Many insurers offer accident prevention services, such as setting up safety committees and other programs that promote safe work practices. These measures can reduce the number of workplace accidents and the associated costs. The insurance industry also recognizes that “frequency breeds severity,” companies with more accidents tend to have more significant losses than those with fewer.
If your employer or insurance company is arguing with you over your claim, it’s best to consult an attorney. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can explain complicated terms and concepts — such as IME, IIPP, SSDI, PDRS, and WCAB — that you may not understand. This can help you build a strong case and win your deserved compensation.
Even if you’ve provided notice of injury or illness and have a doctor certified that your injuries or condition is work-related, your employer or insurer may dispute (controvert) your claim. They might argue that the injury or condition is not severe, that you are exaggerating your symptoms, or are attempting to gain an unfair advantage by filing a claim.
If your employer or its insurance company disputes a decision by a workers’ comp judge, it may request an administrative review by a panel of three members of the Board. The process is lengthy and requires a lot of documentation. A qualified workers’ comp attorney can ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly and build a strong case for you to receive the maximum benefits available under the law. In addition, if someone other than your employer contributed to the injury, you may be eligible for additional damages under third-party liability workers’ comp.